Major Japanese steel manufacturer Kobe Steel Ltd. announced today that it has been indicted on charges by the Tokyo District Prosecutors Office for allegedly violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Act. The Company was prosecuted for a data tampering scandal that occurred last year.
Kobe Steel admitted that it had been providing products with falsified quality specifications to over 600 customers and said that the data fraud had been occurring for nearly five decades.
“We are taking this matter brought against us very seriously. The entire Kobe Steel Group is working together sincerely and straightforwardly to carry out preventive measures and is making every effort to restore trust,” the Company said in a statement.
Kobe Steel is currently undergoing another probe by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Company has issued a formal apology following the indictment, “We once again deeply apologize for the considerable trouble we have caused to our customers, suppliers, shareholders and many others concerning the misconduct at Kobe Steel Ltd. and its group companies (collectively, the “Kobe Steel Group”).”